Sunday, 13 September 2015

Little house on the Bayou

I am currently writing a new story on wattpad. This is a new genre for me, so I thought I would share the first chapter with you guys and see what you think?

Chapter 1

Little house on the Bayou.
I rolled my eye's at the phone. " Yes Beebee ( aunty in Romanian ) I know we have spells to try, I will be there in about 20 minutes." I let my aunt continue talking at me down the phone a while longer. Geez I just got in, how did she know? Oh that's right, she has 'Dook' or 'the sight' to you and me. She was telling me that hope is not lost, she's come up with another spell she found in her book of shadows, and this time she just knows it will cure me...sigh.
" I'm leaving now Beebee...yep, ok." I placated her. Silence, then... " I know you're still at home Chavi ( girl ) I see you !"
Dammit! I just love coming from a family of witches, and clairvoyants, I thought to myself bitterly. No god damn privacy. I whipped my jacket of the back of my desk chair, and headed out the door of my attic apartment, slamming it behind me. That seemed to do the trick and my well meaning aunt let me terminate the call.
My name is Savannah Cross, and at 19 I have been diagnosed with a terminal blood disease. As well as chemo, I have endured every spell, and ritual my family could throw at me. Before my aunt's call, I got back from my doctor's appointment where he told me the final round of treatments hadn't helped. I am still dying. Not ready to give up just yet though, I kind of like living too much. So here I go again, making the short trek to my aunt's herbalist/wiccan supply store, where she will chant, and make me drink a number of potions that taste like ass.
I dawdle down the rickety steps, through the crumbling old mansion I call home. No I am not loaded if that's what you're thinking? I live in a converted building, knocked into a bunch of apartments. I scored the attic one, which is actually pretty cool because it spans the entire top floor of a pretty huge
building. I digress... I step back out into the blustering wind, and wiggle my face under my scarf. Here we go again!

The wind chimes above aunt Pru's door tinkled wildly, and a dry leafy rustle filled the air, as the bunches of dried herbs, and flowers that hang from the rafters were disturbed by the breeze, as I slipped inside. 
" Beebee? Where are you?" I call out , peering into the gloom past the rows, and rows of jars, dried herbs, creams, and medicinal teas , where the counter at the back is located.
When I was little, I would sweep the straw bristles of a broom across the dusty stone floor, marveling at the alien bits of ingredients littering it. Surrounded by craggy roots, strange jars with their mysterious contents, candles every colour of the rainbow, and endless piles of dusty books. Now I just wonder how the hell she finds anything...ever?
"Back here Manglipe ( love)" The silken voice of my aunt calls out to me. 
I navigate my way to the back room, through the plush velvet curtain behind the counter. My aunt is sat on a round table in the center of the room, the table holds a variety of coloured candles. White for cleansing, clairvoyance and healing, light blue for health, gold for success, black for destroying evil, healing powerful illness', and purple! Wow she's really going all out, I thought to myself. Purple expands on all the other candle abilities, represents the third eye, for healing, and most of all power. 
A cauldron hangs over the hot coals in the stone fireplace, the blackened lid jittered against the boiling pot like chattering teeth. " Uh..what's in there?" I stab with my finger at the ominous bubbling potion.
" Come chavi ( girl) sit!" My aunt ignores my question, and takes my sweaty hand in her smooth, cool fingers, pulling me to sit at the table with her. I
stare at her bright green, feline shaped eye's, and I glaze over a little. Already she's doing something to calm me. I come from a long line of witches, and having abilities myself makes me more susceptible to her magic...except of course , not with all the healing apparently. 
" This time we will have success, I feel it manglipe." She tells me.
An hour later, all spells exhausted, the pretty velvet table cloth is spattered with rainbow colored wax, and I am gagging on the final concoction! The table is full of empty jars, and potion bottles. There's a dry brush of hands as my aunt dislodges the last of the spell ingredients from her long fingers. " I feel the taint in your blood still." My aunt groans. " The disease still lives!" She waves her hands over my head, her eye's scrunched in concentration, her usually quaffed hair sticking up at odd angles,and beads of sweat above her full ruby lips.
Suddenly my aunt's eye's glaze over, and her jaw goes slack.  "Beebee?" I waved my hands in front of her eye's...nothing! I followed her gaze to a braid of garlic hanging on the wall, and before I can try and make a connection, a barrage of Romanian curses turned the air blue. Aunt Pru was pacing like a caged tiger, speaking her native tongue and throwing her hands in the air repeatedly. What in the world was she talking about? When she spoke fast like this, it was hard for me to understand, and I yanked at my electric blue, and blonde striped hair to jolt myself into concentrating on her words. Then..."vampir!" She yelled, making me jump in the hard wooden chair. 
" Oh shit, I know that word." Vampire? " Beebee what are you talking about?" My hand shoots out like a viper, catching her wrist, and pulling her to sit.
" You're cure manglipe! " Aunt Pru drawled into my ear.
" A vampire. We will find you immortality arvah? (yes) "
" A what? Vampires actually exist?" My voice squeaking with growing hysteria. She wasn't listening. She whirled around the room, gathering crystals, and one extremely large crystal ball . 
" We find your vampire, and you go." Aunt Pru said with conviction, her jade eye's gleaming with excitement, as she centered the crystal ball on the table, sprinkling the circumference with the smaller crystals. I rubbed my brow, blinking rapidly. Was this happening? A vampire? I guess by now I really shouldn't be surprised at these things, considering my upbringing. My head was spinning, and my vision swam. Could this be what I've been searching for, a way to beat this illness that was eating me from the inside out? 
My aunt began to chant an unfamiliar incantation, and before I could prepare myself, 'Thwack' a pale hand clamped across my head. 'Ow!' dear god why does she have to wear a zillion, heavy silver rings, I muttered to myself. She waved her other hand across the crystal ball, still chanting loudly, as her eye's began to roll in her head, leaving only the white's glowing in the gloom.
My blood was pounding in my ears, as suddenly an image appeared in the crystal ball. A bird's eye view whipping over swampland, ancient weeping willows lined the inhospitable environment of what looked like the Bayou in Louisiana, as we raced over alligator infested waters, ancient , gnarled tree roots, twisted into ominous shadows in the twilight, as a solitary old creole building, sat on a rickety jetty, loomed into view. The house dominated the stillness, and a solitary light shone from the ground floor. The only other source of light, an old gas lamp perched on the jetty, illuminated a puttering speed boat cutting through the inky water, as it pulled up to the moorland. A aging man hauled a box of goods from the boat, and waddled up the jetty toward the house. He used his free hand to scramble around in his pocket, yanking out a white handkerchief, and swatted at his dewy brow. As he reached the front door, it swung open with a heavy 'thunk.'
The most beautiful man I have ever set eye's on filled the doorway. He glowered out under long, dark lashes, his ice blue eye's drilling into the
sweating little man at his door. Beside him, a ginormous , black furred, red eyed hound , bristled , a low rumble of a growl building in his huge chest, as he snarled , huge white fangs visible in the fading light.
He snatched the box away from the man who held it out to him with trembling hands.
"My full order had better be here this time Carlos! Last time the red meat for Fang was underweight, and there were a dozen nails from the hardware missing." He boomed at the quivering delivery guy. The man flinched, and threw his hand to his brow cowering slightly.
" I....I..I'm sorry Mr Diablo, my humblest apologies, you won't find any problems this time, I promise you." The man sniveled at the towering adonis. The angry man swept his long black hair out of his eye's, and pushed his face into the delivery man's.
" Look into my eye's Carlos. You saw nothing strange here, just a reclusive man, and his pet dog. He took his order, paid you, and that was that. You will speak of me to NO ONE! Understood?" He hissed. His icey blue eye's narrowing , as he jabbed his index finger into the man's shoulder. He raised himself back to his full height, reaching around and pulling a wad of cash from his back pocket. He slapped the pile of bills into the waiting man's hand, raised his chin, sniffed, and retreated slamming the heavy door behind him. The delivery man wobbled unsteadily, turned around, his eye's glazed and unseeing, and waddled back toward his waiting boat.
The scene faded into blackness.

Hope you enjoyed, and you can read more on Eliza crush on wattpad
let me know what you thought in the comments, or catch me on wattpad

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Introducing " 101 questions you should ask a four year old"

I am creating a new weekly series, featuring my amazing four year old daughter. Kids truly do have a unique way of looking at the world, and I have the source of a whole lot of comedy right here at home.

Every week, I will ask her a question, or a series of questions and video her answers, uploading here to my blog. If any one has a interesting question you thing would generate a cool answer, please comment and I will add it to the line up.

Please bear in mind, she is an innocent little girl so be mindful.

Should be an interesting ride :)

Monday, 24 August 2015

Gateway to Hell finale live on Wattpad now!

Gateway to hell.   Now complete novella Gateway to Hell.

So today I completed my horror novella " Gateway to Hell." Get a taste here on my blog, where the first two chapters are posted. The watty awards are currently going on so if you enjoy it, head on over to twitter and vote #mywattyschoice by tweeting the story link.

If you fancy reading the completed novella , you can do so here Gateway to Hell

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Creative writing / story help

My writing process, tips and tricks.

  1. First and foremost you need a writing space that you can spread out on. A desk, laptop, notebooks ( If your like me) pens, highlighters, reference books, smartphone. Some of the items I find necessary
  2. Writing software ~~ I use open office for my final drafts, and ywriter for creating my first draft and story ideas, characters, project ideas, quotes I want to use etc. This software allows you to put together your novel or project chapter by chapter, and each chapter is broken up into scenes so you can work on one section at a time. If you are particularly stuck, what I like to do is think up a scene I want in my novel, and begin with that. Starting with a Piece you are going to enjoy writing will get your creative juices flowing for sure. You can also flesh out your characters and their backstory with this software which is extremely helpful, you always need to know far more about your characters than what you will actually end up using. It will make them far more believable. You can get ywriter free online.
  3. As above, chop your chapter into scenes within that chapter so you are writing one scene at a time, allowing your chapter to develop naturally and come together with less effort.
  4. When I'm stuck on a chapter or scene, I use Why? What? Where? To progress it naturally, as in why did she/he say that? Where were they when they said it? What could happen next? This usually does the trick and moves the story along.
  5. If I still find things feel a little forced, I simply do a few menial housework chores. Washing up, dusting, hovering, and think about my characters at the point of the story I left off. I envision what they are doing, and saying and use the Why? What? Where method. Especially with dialogue. For example my character says something and I play the conversation in my head, 9 times out of 10 the conversation flows naturally in my mind and the characters do the talking for me. Always let your characters speak to you. Imagine what would naturally come next if you were having tat conversation with someone. Bearing in mind your characters personality, and traits of course.
  6. Before you start any project, make sure your characters are the first thing you create. As I said earlier flesh out their backgrounds first. Consider emotional wounds within their backstories. eg. were involved in a house fire, drug or alcohol issues, sexual abuse, giving reasons why a character may be a certain way, so when the reader discovers this they can empathise with the character.
  7. Don't make the mistake of  describing your character physically in one lump. It makes your flow choppy and is unnecessary Let small details out as you go along
  8. You don't necessarily have  to know what comes next before you sit down to write it. Personally a lot of the time, I only know what's happening from chapter to chapter, although I do have a basic plot outline in mind : beginning, middle, end. I then fill in the gaps chapter by chapter, scene by scene.
  9. Have a few really great scenes mapped out in your head before you begin. This will give you an important starting point when you are struggling to begin, and you will find that when you start writing them, the story will begin to flow and almost write itself.
  10. I take a notebook with me everywhere! Especially beside the bed when I go up to bed at night. I find the best ideas hit me when I am distracted, or get inspired by people's conversations etc. I adore real notebooks, and can't own enough of them but I also have onenote, and evernote on my phone so I can take notes from where ever I am. They are both free too and you can have unlimited notebooks so can have one for each story, or even for each character if you like even more added back story.
These are all my personal tips, and what I find works well. Play around with ideas and find your perfect writing process. Feel free to add your own to this post, or shoot me a question in the comments. If you want a fast me at and I'll get right back to you!

~~~ Coming up : " Gateway to hell chapter 3, why my daughter decided to be the incredible hulk, and story extract from a talented fantasy writer.

Thanks for tuning in. x

Monday, 10 August 2015

Gateway to Hell. Chapter 2

Chapter 2.

Alex hammered on Kendall's bedroom door. 
"Baby, the others have gone just let me in? If nothing else I need to see if you're ok?"
The stairs creaked behind him, and Alex whipped around , blood pounding through his ears. He held his breath painfully in heart stopping suspense at the approaching footsteps, until finally  Morgan appeared over the brow of the stairs. Air hissed from between his teeth in relief.
" I've finished cleaning up, I've never seen a group of people leave so fast."
She whispered to Alex. Taking in his stricken features, her tone changed suddenly to more forceful inflection.
"Just go Alex, I'll make sure she's ok and get her to call you when she's calmed down. She needs some time to make sense of whatever went on down there in her mind."
Morgan took him gently by the shoulders, and walked him toward the stairs. He nodded at her wide eyed, relief now obvious in his expression as his shoulders relaxed and the tense angle he held his eyebrows fell away.  Content for now someone was taking charge of this mess.
When the front door finally clicked shut, Morgan tapped on her sister's door. The gentle 'click' of the lock being turned prompted her to turn the handle and step inside. Kendall walked back toward the bed where she scooted up into the corner, pulling her knees up to her chin in a defensive posture.
"I'm not sure exactly what went  on down there? I saw the board, heard the scream, and had a garbled explanation from Alex?"
She slid up onto the bed next to her obviously shaken younger sister. Morgan wanted to put her arm around her, comfort her in some way? She was clearly distressed, but something stopped her from reaching out to touch her. Morgan held strong beliefs about Ouija boards, tarot, and anything to do with spirits, knew they were not to be messed with, and had thought her younger sister had been wise enough to do the same.
" I got rid of the board. I told Daniel it would be best if he left when your friends did and told him to dump it somewhere on his way home."
Kendall nodded, her eyes lowered refusing to meet her sister's searching gaze.
"You need to promise me right now, you will never mess with anything like that ever again?"
She touched Kendall's cheek turning her face to meet her eyes. Heat sparked through her fingers where she made contact with her skin. Sucking in her breath sharply She whipped her hand back , hoping the gesture went unnoticed not wishing to alarm her sister any further. Not knowing quite where to put herself, she hopped off the bed, and stuck her hand in the back pocket of her tight designer jeans.
"I promise." Kendall's voice was scratchy, having not spoken since her ear splitting scream. Morgan nodded and headed toward the door. With one last furtive glance toward her sister, she left her alone clicking the door shut softly behind her. Morgan studied her hand, the fingers that had made contact with Kendall hot and stinging from the heat. She balled her hand into a fist, before flexing her fingers out again, and letting out a long shaky breath before heading to her room.
Kendall's hand shook violently as she extended her right arm. Slowly she gripped her sleeve and began to roll it up . When she felt it stop at her elbow she lowered her eyes to the bare skin she had exposed. Her pale blue eyes widened in sheer terror at the 3 inch gouge straight down the middle of the soft skin of her forearm. The skin furrowed at the edges of the gaping wound like lips pulled back to expose an unsmiling mouth mocking her own horrified grimace.